Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankful & sad. Hope & love

My heart is full of thanks, sadness, hope and love.
Thankful for families, that we are born to a world filled with families.
To mothers who love and care for us, and fathers to guard and protect.
A good friend of mine, had a death in the family early this week.
Her 3 month old nephew past away while sleeping. (SIDS)
This little boy, had parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles and many extended family who loved him. He was loved.
So much sadness this brings to all those close. To lose a child is to lose a part of you.

                        ********                                                *********

Shortly after hearing my new "Little's" heartbeat for the first time (yesterday),
I went to my sister, who lives near by.
I held my sisters' 4 month old and became really emotional.
It really hit me.
I told my sister the news of my friend as I held, rocked and smelt her baby.
She made the comment that we take it for granted, that something like that won't happen to us, but it does. It happens, for know reason.

I pray for those who have lost and I pray that I would not lose any of my own.
The thought was overwhelming and then I think of the reason we come to this earth....
These are my thoughts....to gain a body, to be tested, and to go back. Receiving our body is so important. I think that this child, as all children who pass, are most precious
spirits to the Savior and need not go through the trials of life. He is perfect, having no sin and will live with our Heavenly Father forever.

My sadness turns to hope...Hope of peace to the family having to move forward...hope for them....and love for them. My prayers are will them at this time of Thanksgiving.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

a new "Little" on it's way

If you know me or have been reading my blog from the beginning you would know how much my Mister D and I have wanted to have another baby.
I love my husband. I love my family. I love my children.
I cherish these things more than anything.
From the beginning we had planned to have 3 children 5 years apart. As one would go into Kindergarten I would have another baby. This for me, made sense. It was easier when my youngest was independent for me to take on the new demands of another little one. My oldest two, from a previous marriage were 3 years apart and this was very demanding. We waited until my second child one was in school before having our third  and that worked out just perfect. There was time for the baby during the day and I didn't feel like anyone was feeling left out, then there was time for the older ones after school, we did homework while he took a nap. They played with him while I cooked dinner and it just seemed to work out well for us. So, we decided to contiune our family and had our fourth baby the summer before Little J entered Kindergarten. Then we would wait until that little one entered kindergarten.... The plan, not a perfect plan, but a plan nevertheless...
Well, the plan was interupted by a death in the family, loss of employment and a move.
It was sad not having a new little one when our Little G went to kindergarten, but it just wasn't time. Finally, feeling settled in, we started trying once again to have a baby and it just wasn't happening.

As I had stated in an earlier blog. I went to lunch with a dear friend of mine, one of my "bookies" (book club friends). She is about ten years my senior, we were talking about this yearning, and she told me that she just now felt comfortable with the idea that she would not be having any more children.  I thought this interesting...is it possible that there will always be a yearning in my heart for a baby if I never have one? Is this a normal part of being a woman, wanting to nuture and care?  I just could not imagine not having the child we had be wanting for so long, but I finally decided that it was in God's hands.

Well, a few weeks later, I found out that I was expecting. It seems that when I was having this discussion with my friend, I was already pregnant. :)

We are so happy and blessed to have a new little one join our family.

I have already had some question this decision, which I find odd but...everyone has different feelings and thinking on the matter.

Yes, I am older, and though it may seem too old for some and that there is a lot of space in between...and we are starting all over again...well, We are just happy about all of that. 

My grandmother, my mother in law, my nurse's mother, the women who took my blood,  friends at church and many others have had babies in there 40's. It is not that uncommon to have a baby after 40, look at all the celebraties having babies in their 40's.

Yes, there are risks, but there is always a risk.

Our Doctor asked Mister D and I, if we wanted to have special testing to see if the baby had any genetic defects, if in any case we would not want to continue with the pregnancy. Our repsonse was that we want this child no matter what.
It will be a blessing from our Heavenly Father.

There is so much love and joy in a big family.

I want my family to have that....
                                                more than anything ....
                                                                                  I want my family to feel that.

I have the privledge to be a stay at home mom, to spend all my days with them and for them. It is a blessing to be a mother and though it comes with its challenges, I wouldn't change them for the world. I love being a Mother.

We told our family and dearest and closest friends that we are expecting another little one...and Little G, being so excited told her best friend at school, and that night she told her Mom at church, where many other school moms attend with their children...and the news was all over the playground the next day. (Much sooner than we had anticipated, as it is customary to wait until the first trimester is over.)

So if you've heard...it's not a rumor and if I haven't said anything to you, it's probably because I assume you already know. :)

I am officially out of my first trimester!


A new "Little" is on its way!
(Estimated June 1st.)



Also, as a side note: I had mentioned that when we orginally went to the Doctor, she noticed two amniotic sacs, but being so early she wanted us to come back in a few weeks.  Though there might have been a chance for two, there in fact is only one.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Giving Thanks

I suggested we go for a walk.
 I rode my bike,
 Little G rode her scooter
and Little J rode his bike...
Mister D was the only one who actually walked.
I had a plan...Little G and I would gather sticks and put them in my bike basket.
Much easier than carrying them the whole way.
We had a nice outing, the weather was nice, the clouds were clear.
The sights of fall glistened on the yellow, red and orange leaves.
It is getting close to Thanksgiving.

When we came home, I asked Little G to gather some rocks to make a
thankful tree.  She wasn't sure what that was, but as always, willing to help.
 I fetched the old white empty urn that was sitting on the front door steps
and told her to gently place the rocks inside.  Just about halfway full of rocks,
 I put the sticks inside.  "How is this a thankful tree"?  Little G said.
You'll see, just wait.
We took it inside and I went to my computer and printed out little cards, cut them, punch holed them, and they turned into this.......


The idea came from  jonesdesigncompany.com.  I love it!
You can go there to print out cards and see her tree.

Here is ours...


Little G wrote her thankful note first.
" I am thankful for my family"
I wrote the same....so did Little J.
We hung them on the tree.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Nie and Madsen...Bucket Bike Rally and Contest

This is what I did today after taking the Littles to school....
read some blogs, wrote some blogs, entered a contest, did dishes, made banana nut bread w/ a friend and created dinner from scratch.


This is my entry for the Madsen Bucket Bike....

This is the contest poster.....



Hello Nie and Madsen,

How should I begin...I would love to have this PINK Madsen Bucket Bike...who wouldn't... it's a dream. SO many times since your first post of the Madsen bike, I have been to their web sight dreaming about taking a ride.

Here is my dream...

Out on the lonely country road, long and wide, with the clouds floating in the sky, miles of vineyards on all sides and mountains in the distance...french music playing in one ear as the other plug is in my daughter's, she whispers the words, sitting right behind me, her hair ever so slightly blowing as I pedal to the beat...she has her eyes closed and urges me to go faster, I tell her to open her eyes and take it all in....the world is different on a bike. We have anticipation in our hearts...the bucket not only houses my little one, but a blanket and a basket to collect apples, oranges, plums, pomegranates, walnuts,persimmons and berries... whatever is in season...we fill our baskets and sit briefly taking in a few of our treats. As we ride back with our bounty, our country neighbors pass by, some stop...mainly the mothers of other littles....we talk and they admire the simple essence of the bike and make them think of simpler times and a dream of  a bucket ride  too.....  this begins my heart and maybe soon, we too, will have a Bucket Bike rally.

I too, am a mother of 4 with one on the way but I am in my 40's. I would love to have the opportunity to share yet another bike ride with another baby.

I have enjoyed NieNiedialouges since 2008, as I have had my own trials, she has been a silent friend.

Sincerely, Michelle

Oh boy.......or girl

My Mister D and I went to the Doctors for my first appointment.
It seemed so sureal. All the paperwork to feel out and the lab work to be done, and then...
ever so quiet a tiny heartbeat. It was very special and I teared up a little. The thought of another little one getting ready to join our family fills my heart.  I feel so blessed.

 Estimated due date, first week in June.

Of course we won't know if the baby is a boy or a girl for a while...we are just happy to have this sweet little one growing inside me.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A blessing...

Most of you know we've wanted to have a baby for a while.

I went to lunch with a close friend and she admitted that she just barely came to peace with the fact that she would not be having anymore children. She is in her fifties!
I really thought about that and realized that maybe I will always have this feeling, a yearning for new life and a larger family.  When Mr. D and I were dating, we always talked about have 3 children and we had said thought that 40 wouldn't be to old.
His mother had her last child at 43.  Well, I came home from this lunch date and told my Mister D what I was feeling and thoguht that we might just have to put this behind us and move on. We made a little offering ...one last hope....
if I am not pregnant by January...(when I turn 42!),
 then, yes we would begin to put it behind us.

Well, then guess what....

I found out I am pregnant two weeks later!
What a blessing!

We were going to wait until I was out of my first trimester to tell anyone,
but since I have been sick, we decided to tell the Littles...
and then Mister D told his brother!
So, I had to tell my sister...
 and then it just started to snowball....
so it is officially out.

I am going to have a baby next spring.

I can't believe I am saying this!
I can't believe I am going to have a baby!
We are so happy, our 5th child will be here soon.
We are feel so blessed!

I have a doctor appointment tomorrow....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall is here

It was summer and a wonderful summer it was!





The Littles and I went on a 4 day camping trip to the Lava Beds National Monument Park and
when we came back it was fall.

I love to see the leaves on the ground and feel the weather turn crisp. I can finally wear my sweaters.

I went to the garage to find the fall decorations amongst the cobwebs.

Little G used construction paper to make a pumpkin, half moon and a witch and then taped them to the mantle.  She was proud of herself.  She talked about how she loved  to decorate for the holidays. I told her so do I! 

Then we make plans to bake some cookies and have a party to celebrate. 

Little J was just happy it was fall break and that he could sit on the couch warm and snugly and play as many games as he pleased....or so he thought.

I pulled out the fall pillows, pumpkins and candles.  I brought out the comforter and quilt, and throw blankets and then made baked potato soup and salad for dinner.

After the Littles were all snuggled in bed...Mister D and I cozy-d in bed and watched a movie, Limitless.
About midnight I received a text from my Biggest Little, " I love you Mommy", made my heart melt a little.

Oh ya, I have a secret....but only those who email me can know what it is.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A poem I wrote when my Little J was a baby

Tomorrow Will Be Another Day


One to another they talk and they sing,

at bedtime they plant a wonderful dream.

Goodnight to the sky, to the stars up above,

Dream of heaven, God and of love.

Goodnight to all the little boys and girls they will say,

Tomorrow will be another day.




In the morning, they will whisper sweet praises.

Good day to the earth! Good day to you!

Smell the new day! Dance with the dew!

Look at the forget-me-nots and daffodils.

Pick up the dirt and open your sails.

Bag the sand and the seashells.

Ride on a bird wing and sit on a swing.



 
Tell me of those who worked hard with their hands,

stories of mountains and rivers and land.

Your day is done, your heart complete.

Soon it is time…are you ready to sleep?



One to another they talk and they sing,

tonight as they lay, they say wonderful things.

Good night to the elders of wisdom and peace,

Good night, to kind neighbors and friends that we meet,

Good night, to those whose example did set

And to those of you, we haven’t met yet.

Good night to the man that gave all that he could,

And those who did what they should.

Goodnight to all the little boys and girls they say,

"Tomorrow will be another day."


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My children are the artwork in my life

A little glimpse of creativity...


after

before
                                  Family Fun magazine
 page 122 of the September issue posted
GOT A GREAT IDEA?
and I thought I might send in one of mine. :)

Someone told me a story while back, about how the pictures in a home influence children. This lady wanted her children to serve a mission for her church, and instead they all joined the navy. It was said that maybe because all the pictures in the home were of ships they joined the Navy.  Well, in case there is any validity to this influence, I want our pictures to inspire, love, romance and sense of self. Most of the art work in my home is of my family, with the exception a collection of prints from the Camelot Series.
Because I love to keep everything,  and I can go a little over board when it comes to my childrens' art I needed to come up with a new way to display my children's art work. I decided to make a frame.

I purchased a roll of school paper and a border from Michaels Craft store.
 I staple gunned the four corners. (this leaves little holes when taken down)
Then, I staple gunned the border around and made the frame.
Using permanent double sided tape, I put high quality  page protectors on top of the black paper.
 This way I could change the pictures without ruining them with tape and
I wouldn't ruin the black paper underneath when I replaced them.
I can show off their art work, good grade papers, certificates and class pictures.
I created another spot for the lunch menu, calendar of events, teachers newsletters and a family motto.
This  is next to my back door so it's not the center of attention, but would be great in their bedrooms!
My "Littles" love seeing their art work and perfect papers.
 I hope this inspires them to do their best and be creative. 

I sent this to Family Fun Magazine today, September 23,2011 MG

Monday, September 19, 2011

Our Little G's heart

 Mr. D and Little G

When my Little G was just 2 weeks old she ended up with a high fever and bacterial infection which put her in the hospital for a couple of days. We came home thinking all was well and had a Memorial Day celebration with  friends. Later, night I gave her a bath. It took longer than usual as, I tried to take the remaining stickers off her body from her visit at the hospital. Afterwards, I remember she remained clammy and her hands were like ice. I thought this was unusually, so I had her sleep next to me in bed. The next day, after taking the Littles off to school I  got Little G ready for her follow up appointment. This is a routine appointment after a hospital stay.
I packed her things, her hands still cold & sweat on her brow.  At the doctor's office she was weighed and measured, and while he was checking her abdomen I mentioned to the doctor that her hands were like ice since last night... I was thinking I was being paranoid  because it seems so many other things seemed unusual about my little one..
He took her heart rate and immediately scooped her up, hit a button and  called for 911. I was so confused.
They put her on ice...I tried to call my Mr. D - no cell phone at this time. I called his father. I needed someone to meet me at the hospital. The ambulance came and I held her limp grey body on my lap in the back of the ambulance. What was happening?was all I could think. My little one looked awful. I didn't think she was going to make it.  Little G's heart rate was 320 bpm and her body was beginning to shut down.  The took her to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). A social worker met up with Mr. D and I...this was odd as they took our baby, we wanted to be with her. We were astonished that we were taken away from our newest Little to fill out paperwork and possibly be counseled?  Someone came and told us "they were trying to do everything they could", just like in a bad movie. We were in a daze I think.  Then they decided to do a vagal maneuver that isn't that common and slapped her with ice between the eyes...my poor BABY!
But, that did it, that made her heart start to slow down and slowly she began doing better.  That night as my baby was sleeping in a plastic container, I slept in what felt like a container too. A metal chair in an 8by8 room  full of monitors with a glass wall that separated us from all the other newborns. They usually don't put discharged babies back in the nursery or NICU. But, this was there only accommodations for us. We had to scrub in whenever we came. Darren and I changing of the guards sort of speak. We had to dress in scrubs to go in the room and only one person at a time. After 2 days of being in the NICU they finally found her stable enough to move to another floor. Finally, we were relieved,  but we did not have many answers. They said she had a SVT episode, which stands for  Supra ventrical Tachycardia, but didn't know what the cause was and they said she may or may not ever have one again. The also checked out a few other things that might be a problem.
She also had an area close to her rectum that looked like a little pocket in the skin to rule, this was to rule out spinabifda. They ran tests & MRI's all while hooked up to machines. Then,to make a long story short, we asked to be referred to a specialist in the Bay Area. Finally after 10 days, we were going to get some answers.
Congenital Heart Disease; diagnosis, Supra ventricular Tachycardia, Ebstien's anomaly (tricuspid valve) causing atrial arrhythmia's with rapid heartbeat. AND she had a whole in her heart.  But luckily she didn't have to have surgery. So, with that diagnosis, she was put on Digoxion and we were able to go home with our baby. This was of course not the end of  her problems or ours. The medication was very sensitive and we had to check her heart rate before and after administering it. I was quite nerve racking, but we were happy to have our baby home. We were told to keep her from stress...like crying and getting too upset... (Imagine that!...no crying at 2 months old). She remained on this medicine for a year and a half and decided to take her off of it and see how she did without it. They noticed that the whole in her heart had closed on its own and that the back flow of blood going the wrong way was lessening.  Ebstiens Anomaly was determined to be mild now.  The firing agent in her heart was stable and she looked much better. She would need to see a cardiologist every year and that was that. Hmmm...
A few times, when she was sick with a fever, her heart rate would rise to 220 but always corrected itself so there wasn't a cause for alarm. She would see the cardiologist every year and every year would get better and soon,  October 2010 she was given a clean bill of health with a follow up when she became a teenager.
We were so happy and didn't really think about it again.
Until, June of 2011, She was playing at a friends house. I went to pick her up and when I got there she was lying down outside on a hammock. I didn't think too much of this, she doesn't like leaving her friends house...it's too much fun. Matter of fact her friends' grandma has a beautiful garden and her friend and brother were picking potatoes, which is a highlight...I was just wondering why she didn't want to join them, when she said she wasn't feeling well. I thought this was a ploy to stay longer...She complained of her lip bothering her and I wanted to check to see if she bit her lip but she didn't want to sit up. We had somewhere to be, Big Little was performing at the Arena. I took a change of clothes for her, and wanted to have her change before we left but she wasn't feeling well. I took her to the car and buckled her up. We were headed home to pick up Mr. D and Little J.
I didn't have a clue just how bad she was feeling. She fell asleep during our 10 minute drive home. When I arrived home, I put the windows down ran into the house to tell everyone it was time to leave , but Mr. was just getting out of the shower and Little G came in the house and went straight to bed. I went to see where Little J was and to make sure he was ready when Mr. D overheard  Little G say, "I just want to go to sleep forever". This alarmed Mr. D and wondered if she had a bad time at her friends, as it seemed uncharacteristic of her to say this.
He went over to her and felt her and asked me to take her heart rate. The stethoscope had been packed away for quite a while. I grabbed it, and went to her and could barely count fast enough...I counted 250 BPM. I wasn't sure what to do, she was very lethargic and her color was greying... I called the Doctor and my phone dropped the call, I asked Mr. D to call on his phone and ran next door to the neighbor's house...remembering that he was a doctor.  He came over with his monitor and confirmed 240 bpm. He tried to do some vagal maneuvers but nothing worked so he suggested I call the paramedics. By this time, an hour had almost past. When I told her she was going to go to the hospital she started to cry really hard and Mr. D picked her up. The paramedics just arrived in her bedroom when you could see her color looking better as Mr. D was holding her. He lay her down to have the paramedics check her out and our neighbor, the Dr., said he thought her heart stabilized and took her pulse and sure enough...it was beating at a normal rate again.
Our neighbor doctor, filled the EMT's in with the details and then they took her to the hospital.They did an ECG and all looked good so they released her and ordered a halter monitor for 24 hours. The results came back just fine. She took it easy as she was worried about having a problem. Then, one day, the second day of school to be exact, she had another episode and then two days later and they started coming more frequently. The school doesn't have a nurse and this brought about different problems. This was/is so stressful.  Finally, She was put on a heart monitor for 30 days to record these events. And this brings us up to date. She just finished with the monitor on Saturday and now we are now waiting the results. 
They have 2 tentative plans..1.) medication 2.)surgery

Another one leaves the nest









My "Big Little" turned 18!

My "Big Little" is more big, than little!
She has spread her wings and taken flight.
She lives in the town where she attends community college and works as a nanny.
I don't see her very much, but I understand this is her time.
She is figuring out who she is away from home.
She knows I am here if she needs me and I hope that she does.
I hope I taught her things she finds useful, but most of all....
I hope she laughs often and finds joy in everything.

I made a movie for her with pictures from her childhood through high school.
It makes me cry...it made everyone, well almost everyone cry.
then, because I was wanting more of her....
I made a collage out of pictures from her early years.
SHE is so adorable! I LOVE her!
 . 

Happy Birthday Big Little, I Love you!

Go take on the world!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Holiday Weekend Special



We are off on a Holiday Weekend Special....

Natalie and baby ready for the lake

cousins and friends

Mr. D and me

daughter and mother

The girls

rock skipping

baby blue eyes

digging a whole....amazing skills!

Rummy any one?


Yes!

Lots of loving for the baby

Hullabaloo

Celebrate

bananagrams


girls doing nails

pink

Can I do it myself?

Poka dots

Pampering

Lots of yummy food

Cara's birthday celebration

The big 23!
We Love You!
Thanks to my sister, Natalie and her husband, Doug for organizing a FAMILY weekend in Tahoe!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Taking Food for thought

I love to cook almost as much as I love to read  and write, whereas I don't have as much time for the later, I do have the opportunity to COOK everyday.  Now, don't get me wrong...take out is good once in a while,  a nice restaurant is great for getting away, sitting down and relaxing, but a meal at my own table is the best.  Not because I am a great cook,  I would not be so bold as to say that, but because it is where I cook, create and serve my family.

Cooking involves so much.....what to buy, how to buy and where to buy. You could try something new everyday if you pleased. Oh, there is also menu planning, which can be quite involved...my sister found out exactly how many pounds, ounces, bags...etc she would need for a whole year based on the recipes her family likes!  I haven't gone that far, but I have made a monthly menu making meals for 10 people for $10.00 a dish, that's a dollar a person! And if I say so myself they were all eaten up and quickly, and not just because I was cooking for boys!

Let's talk about holidays and celebrations!  This is the best time to cook and bake!  It involves decorating and coordinating.  I once went to my second cousins' home for dinner with my family when I was young. It was about the time of St. Patrick's Day, everything we had was green.  ;)  I haven't gone that far but I always make an Irish dish on St.Patrick's Day and it turns out that it is a family favorite, one that is requested other times of the year.

FOOD, when done right, makes people happy!

So now, I invite you into my world of cooking....
http://myshellybelly.blogspot.com/


I hope you have a happy belly!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Praise The Pie!

I am not a pie baker or a pie maker, whichever is correct I do not know, but I love the opportunity to write.
So, awhile back I asked my friends for pie recipe on Facebook and  after a few replies, I decided on a recipe from K.H. She responded with a great apple pie recipe then she made the pie for me! It was delicious!  You have to try it!  The recipe follows. Thanks, KH!! (  I changed the name to sweet or sour instead of sour apple because we used gala apples instead of granny smith which made it sweeter.)

A 300 word essay was required for the contest by PIETOPIA about how your life takes like pie...
I thought I would share it with you. 

What My Life tastes Like as Pie

The Crust is the foundation of my life, which is spiritual. There is never enough crust for the filling. Making this crust is delicate; it requires much attention and patience, the part of the pie and the part of my life, where I practice most. After much labor, I have finally developed the peace that I find in my heart and the hope that tomorrow will be better than the last. I press the crust gently along the ridge hoping it will stay in tact. It is in here, in this shell, that I hope everyone will feel comfortable, and love living inside its walls, longing to call it home when they are gone.

The Filling is my family…my husband, daughters, and son. It is the reason I wake up, do chores, cook meals…make pie, rather speak. It is where the sweetness of kisses and cheers for courage are combined with the tears of trials and tragedy, which make for moments of sour despair. Without this opposition, there would be nothing to compare, I bring this taste to my lips with anticipation as each day goes by.

The Crumbled topping represents my friends, sprinkled here and there. Little accessories that light up my life, making sugar coated memories to call upon when I am weak.

The Pie looks perfect in its whole glory, but once cut, it becomes messy and looses shape, just like me. This, I have learned, is when it is important to share the pie. Those I serve; friends, family, and community are not concerned about the way it looks, as they have much of the same ingredients in their own pies; so together, we pick up our forks and praise the pie!




Butter Crust

1 7/8 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 sticks of BUTTER, chilled and cut into small pieces.
3/4 cup ice water

In bowl combine flour, salt, & sugar, add butter, using a pastry blender.
Add cold water, a TBLS at a time, until dough holds together without being wet or sticky.
Test- squeeze small amount together, if crumbly add more water. Flatten Ball into a disk, then wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour. Take it out and roll it, flipping back and forth. Sprinkle flour onto surface so it does not stick. Make sure it is at least 2 inches larger in diameter then the largest part of your pie pan. Place it in the pie dish and then fold the extra back over into the dish, this makes it nice and thick, press along the ridge to complete the sides.

Sweet or Sour Cream Apple Pie

Filling:

Combine dry ingredients
3 Tbls flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
dash salt

In separate bowl mix well
½ pint whipping cream
1 egg well beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon juice
2 cups chopped apples

Pour wet ingredients a little at a time into the dry ingredients, stirring until smooth. Add apples, mix and then pour into unbaked pie shell. Top with Topping

Topping:
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup flour

Crumble mixture together until crumbly, sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the top of the pie. Bake 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for 30 minutes. Cool before serving.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Life is full of characters!

Just a few of the main characters in my life...making Valentines.


Recently, I have been reading a book about writing, called Bird by Bird.
 You may think, that I picked up this book just because of the name and the cover, having no idea, that it was about writing and your right!

I also, finished listening to the audiobook by Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck.
It is a collection of essays,
which I recommend that you read before you are 60,
for anytime after that, it just might be too depressing.
LOL

Both of these books talk about character development and because of their influence
 I  found myself feeling like I was in a novel all week.

I'll tell you a few stories....

For the first time since High School, I agreed to sing and dance in front of people.
I told the lovely lady that asked me, "I wouldn't normally say yes, but I am willing to go out of my comfort zone for you." -plus, I knew she had asked many others and  they said NO WAY!

I found myself practicing the song in the lowest octave I could sing..
.hoping that it would not seem so obvious that I can not sing at all!  LOL
Then there was the matter of the dance moves...Right quarter turn here, jazz hands there.
This translated as 'turn here and shake', in my dormant sing and dance mind.
 Did I actually perform when I was in school, oh so long ago, during half times at ball games, church festivals and competitions? That person is so far gone from the one I am today that I can't even recall the "isms".  Someone said that this music piece was in their head voice. Head Voice?  The other ladies seemed to go right along with all of it like it was second nature. What did I sign up for?
DRAMA is not for me!

Later that week in a completely different situation....

One of my friends missed the opportunity to have a kidney transplant....seriously! I asked her if she had an ombudsman. She said that someone mentioned this word to her this week, but couldn't understand what they said  and had no idea what they were talking about, so she just replaced the word in her mind as "ottoman". And there it sat all alone until I asked the question.

I was amazed at the easy going kidney-needing friends' response at this misfortune, to which my other friend responded with some words, that I shall not repeat, about how she would have handled a certain social worker. Then our kidney-needing friend said, "I'll let you be my ottoman next time." 
Humor is good medicine.

Three woman in there 60's were sitting across the table from me at a luncheon.  
 Conservative,  hair in a bun, glasses and dressed in jeans.
Flamboyant, lots of rings, laughter and color.
Reserved, quiet but w/ a judging demeanor, mainly in white.

 So different.

The whole time that I was listening and answering questions,
 I was thinking how it would be awesome to spend a day with each of them and gain some perspective.
 It seems they are so full of wisdom. They each had great qualities.
 Seemed to be opposites, yet they attraced to eachother like magnets. 
Some of them get each other even though they don't understand one another.
When I thought that something that one said to another was shockingly rude or funny, 
they just chalked it up like dust..... no big deal, just another luncheon.


I started to think about my friends and how we are all different.
Yet when we come together, we seem to have the same concerns;
 children, husbands, family, friends,or even just what's for dinner.
We come together, we relate, but we all  feel and respond differently
 and because of that we give something or take something away.

Who are some of the characters in your life?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Some things that give me joy on the World Wide Web

I would love to share some..............
   Happiness, Joy and Good Cheer with all my friends this new year!

Here are a few things that I love:
1.
http://www.susanbranch.com/index.html
I love her recipes, creativity and have most of her books and calendars...so cute!
2.
http://www.jcrew.com/index.jsp
My secret..fashionista place....this is where I go to get my creative style ideas
3.
http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/2008_11_01_archive.html
An inspiring Mormon family written by the mother...she was in a plane crash and it is an inspiring blog of hope. This link will start you just before the crash. Most blog posts are written with the most current on the bottom so, just look at the dates when your reading to follow along.

http://www.happiness-project.com/

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Ftoday.msnbc.msn.com%2Fid%2F26184891%2Fvp%2F33478623%2333478623&h=1f3a46a8f495b47e5aaa9c07700e87d7
Loved these two inspiring women!

5.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y22ItxCz0_k
Mormon messages I created an account on youtube so that I could watch these inspirational messages!

I know that it can be a time killer sitting and looking at all these things but just wanted to share some things that give me joy!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life - Christmas time!

Giving cookies and Caroling to the people at Satellite Apartments 
 Little G with her teacher
Biggest Little and her Beau
 Big Little is the giver of gifts this year!
Just the beginning...
decorating the tree Little J, G and my Mister D
Little G proud of her efforts to help decorate the tree!

The holidays have been busy, the nice busy, not the stressed out busy. I started shopping months ago and then wrapped early in the month of December so that I was not a crazy mad women trying to wrap everything on Christmas Eve. It never fails that every day of the week prior to Christmas is some kind of party or event which makes it impossible to get anything else done. I had all the shopping and wrapping out of the way...now I just needed to decorate, but that doesn't stress me out...that is the fun part. I was able to help in the school 3 days just before the kids were off for their break and then once they were home we decorated the house and then baked a plethora of treats. 

I helped organize our 3rd annual Cookies and Caroling for the tenants at our family's apartment complex. This year Little J was able to attend. He sang his little heart out...the tenants thought he was very talented. He also helps his Daddy there on the weekends.  My Biggest Littles brought friends along and we sang Christmas Carols with my in laws and a dear friend that always supports father-in-law spirit there. This is the whole reason for our giving. Grandpa G was a giver and we want to continue his gift giving. This meant a lot of volunteers donating time to make cookies...I am so appreciative of those who helped.

At the end, one of the program directors mentioned that he felt Glade right there along with us,
 it was very touching.

This also brings me to the subject of friends. I am so blessed to have a group friends, which I will from now on refer to as "The Minni's"...a reference to the group of women in a movie that get together, help one another, do crafts and work with the community.  I am honoured that I am in the company of these fine ladies each with their own stories, talents and personalities.
 Here is a shout out to
Kim, Kelly, Maryl, Darcy,Genie, Tracy,
Tammy, Heather, Amy, Karen, Heidi & Jen!

Christmas Eve we had my in laws over for our traditional  soup dinner, reading from Luke, our gifts to Jesus and the placing of candles in the window (battery operated of course). This was a nice time to share our love for our Savior, reflect on what he has done for us, and share our "gifts to Jesus", which are the things we promise to give to him over the year. Some of the things mentioned were kindness, service, gratitude, and sharing gospel principles with others.

This Christmas was the very first Christmas EVER, since my Mister D and I married that we didn't travel anywhere! and it was so awesome! Also, I usually have my Biggest Littles for half the day and then we have to be somewhere so we don't really get to enjoy our own family. Not that we don't enjoy our extended family's company, but we usually break off into adult groups and children groups. The kids do their own thing and we don 't really interact that much with them. They enjoy their cousins and keep themselves busy and they are happy so off they go.  But this year our children had our full attention and we had theirs, it was so nice. We got to see them enjoy their gifts, that usually they would have to leave behind in order to travel.  The biggest bonus was that we had our First Family Christmas Dinner! We made our own dinner!! We used OUR wedding china and goblets, had candles and sparkling cider toasts!  With my Biggest Little living  far away I don't have all my children at the table very often. I really miss this. It is hard to sit at the table with empty chairs, but that won't be for long...as I know my family will grow and we will need  more chairs. {can't wait for that!} We sat at the table for a good hour after dinner just talking and laughing.

You had to be there, it was priceless.

One of our  traditions is to give each of the children a new ornament. This year they received birds.
I like to refer to this house as "The Bird House"  - as my first birdie started taking flight, not to flee but to soar and the next one reminds me that she too will be off to college in, lets see... 8 months.

Also, living in the country you can really observe the birds plus, Grandpa G loved bird watching and he had  a reason for us being here. So, all my Littles received bird names.  Back to the ornaments...each person has their own gingham colored bow, tied to all their ornaments, so that they remember who's is who's and also so that when....they get married they can take their set of ornaments with them to start their own tree.  These are the things you start thinking of when your children start to get big... the ribbon idea started just after my oldest turned 15 and started talking about life after high school. Since they all want to decorate the tree and couldn't remember who's was who's....I separated them all, cut little strips of fabric, each in a different color and now, the tree is even more colorful.  Bonus...they love putting THEIR own ornaments on the tree..


The day after Christmas, we all went to church together. It seems that this is how it should always be,
but it's not...they grow up, get big and fly... so I cherish the moments we are all together. It also helped me  understand why we go to our extended family to visit.....they want all their little with them too!